• functional magnetic resonance imaging;
  • grip selection;
  • object recognition;
  • effective connectivity


In visually guided grasping, possible hand shapes are computed from the geometrical features of the object, while prior knowledge about the object and the goal of the action influence both the computation and the selection of the hand shape. We investigated the system dynamics of the human brain for the pantomiming of grasping with two aspects accentuated. One is object recognition, with the use of objects for daily use. The subjects mimed grasping movements appropriate for an object presented in a photograph either by precision or power grip. The other is the selection of grip hand shape. We manipulated the selection demands for the grip hand shape by having the subjects use the same or different grip type in the second presentation of the identical object. Effective connectivity analysis revealed that the increased selection demands enhance the interaction between the anterior intraparietal sulcus (AIP) and posterior inferior temporal gyrus (pITG), and drive the converging causal influences from the AIP, pITG, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to the ventral premotor area (PMv). These results suggest that the dorsal and ventral visual areas interact in the pantomiming of grasping, while the PMv integrates the neural information of different regions to select the hand posture. The present study proposes system dynamics in visually guided movement toward meaningful objects, but further research is needed to examine if the same dynamics is found also in real grasping. Hum Brain Mapp, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc